Industry Celebrates Local Newspaper Week

Daily and weekly local newspapers have united to celebrate the campaigning power of local papers and the importance of highly trusted local journalism during Local Newspaper Week this week.

LNW, which follows the local press industry’s Fighting Fake News campaign, has attracted the support of high profile figures including Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron, former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, and adventurer Ben Fogle.

Making a Difference has seen an online public vote held to find the best local newspaper campaign of the past year and the result will be announced by News Media Association chairman Ashley Highfield at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards tomorrow.

Local papers across the UK have this week united to celebrate LNW. 

LNW 2017 coverage montage 

Party leaders from across the political spectrum have sent messages of support for local newspapers during LNW.  In a message for LNW, published in local papers across the UK this week, Prime Minister Theresa May wrote:  “Great local newspapers are at the heart of their communities. They keep their readers informed and entertained, and help hold those of us in politics to account.

“A strong and independent free press, unashamedly seeking out the truth and speaking that truth to power, is one of Britain’s proudest traditions. It is a pillar of our democracy.

“Local newspapers do not always make for easy reading for politicians, but that is just as it should be. As the Government does all it can to ensure wealth and opportunity are spread across every community in our United Kingdom, I look forward to that work being scrutinized, challenged and reported on by a vibrant and vital local press.”

In his message, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote:  Local papers do so much more than simply keeping their readers informed. They are a glue that binds communities, celebrating local people’s achievements and accomplishments and, in equal measure, standing with them when challenges or obstacles arise. By reflecting the concerns, hopes and aspirations of different sections of the local community, local papers foster a spirit of understanding and cooperation.

“Local papers are highly trusted and I am pleased to see the industry coming together to promote their credentials through the Fighting Fake News campaign. Through their unique insight to local matters, local newspapers can strengthen and promote democracy and the search for truth in the face of fake or fabricated news stories from other media sources.

Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron wrote in his message: “In the run up to the general election, it is essential for people to be able to access trustworthy information and make well-informed decisions. By investing in high quality local journalism, local newspapers enable and support this process which underpins democracy.

“Local papers report in ways that are particularly relevant to their local communities. Through campaigns they galvanise the community on key local issues, as highlighted by the Making a Difference campaign.  In doing so, local papers can produce real, tangible benefits for the communities they serve in a way that no other media can.

“I believe passionately in a bright future for local newspapers and a free unfettered press because they are so important for our democracy.  Anything which impinges upon the ability of local papers to hold power to account must be resisted.”

Front pages courtesy of NLA media access